Ride of the Valkyries (arr Hernandez)

From Wind Repertory Project
Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner (tr. Adrian Hernandez)

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General Info

Year: 1870 /
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Wagner’s cycle of ‘music-dramas,' The Ring of the Nibelungen, is unique in the history of art: an ancient mythological tale spread over four interdependent operas; the capstone of Romantic orchestration, harmony and expression; a nodal point in the history of music; and an integral part, for both better and worse, of the German psyche. Wagner’s grand conception left no thinking person untouched in the late 19th century. Almost all were seduced by the overwhelming power and emotion of the operas. His impact on modern thought and art has been enormous.

The Ride of the Valkyries takes place at the beginning of Act III of Die Walküre, the second of the four operas in the Ring cycle. The Valkyries are the nine warrior-maidens of German mythology who ride through the air on their steeds, bringing heroes killed in battle to Valhalla, home of the gods, to form a garrison of defense. The Ride occurs after the curtain rises on a rocky mountain scene to reveal four of the Valkyries watching their sisters return from the battleground. The music vividly depicts the wild, wind-swept heights, the powerful strides of the magical horses, and the Valkyries’ thrilling war cries.

- Program note by University of Houston Moores School of Music Wind Ensemble

In 1848, German composer Richard Wagner began early sketches of Der Ring des Nibelungen, a cycle of four operas that would become commonly as the Ring Cycle. After working on the Ring Cycle for more than 20 years, the second opera, Die Walküre, premiered in 1870 in Munich.

The Valkyries are the immortal warrior daughters of Wotan, King of the Gods in Norse legend. In the opening of Die Walküre's Act III, the Valkyries, riding on flying horses, gather on a mountaintop to survey the battlefield below. They are about to perform their duty of carrying fallen warriors to Valhalla, “hall of the fallen.” For over 100 years, The Ride of the Valkyries, with its powerful female vocal lines and unmistakable low brass theme, remained one of the most thrilling works in western music.

Women have served alongside the United States military since its inception in 1775, and have served in full capacity since 1901 with the inception of The Army Nurse Corps. Today, women continue to play a critical part in our defense force, with over 200,000 active duty servicewomen enlisted and commissioned, 9,200 of whom are currently deployed overseas.

- Program Note from U.S. Army Field Band concert program, 16 December 2015

The U.S. Army Field Band performance (16 December 2015) featured six women singing and acting out the lyrics from the opera.

- Program Note by Dave Strickler


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State Ratings

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Works for Winds by This Composer


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